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L'étranger-images to jog the memory

Visual stimuli to jog the memory

I always wondered about those people who keep a card index of the books they have read so that they remember what happens. I can't remember with any certainty what's happened in a book a month after finishing it, particularly if it's not an altogether visual narrative.

Having completed summaries, sets of questions and contextualised grammar for 13 books you'd think my memory would be improved with practice, but no. The nicer points of say L'étranger were still eluding me so I sat down to use my drawing skills to summarise the novel. I then thought it might be a good idea to give sentence starters using predominantly participles (present and past) to get students using a range of structures.

As an extra, to fill in the chapter heading slides, I added a word count of particular fields of vocabulary in graphical format which could help some students formulate their thoughts.

I was showing a similar idea to teachers last week, one using screen shots and the other drawn images and they preferred the latter although they are a bit dodgy in places. Maybe because its easy to put a bit more "first person" detail into drawings than in screen shots.

Certainly actually producing drawings to summarize the book helped me remember better the content-I would be interested to hear back from people whether they think it's an approach worth taking further- do some students remember content better with visual prompts?

I guess we could do a similar thing for people who prefer listening aurally with short read extracts?

Download sample vocabulary page
Download sample gapped summary page
Download sample question page
Download sample of visual stimulus PowerPoint.